With interest and participation in pickleball growing, so too are the injuries we are seeing in our office. Combining elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong, Pickleball tends to be much more of a low impact sport. Even still, as with any sport and physical activity, the risk for injury increases. Pickleball injuries vary based on your age, the playing conditions, and your physical condition. Let’s talk about some of what we see most often and more importantly, how to prevent these injuries.
Common Injuries We Treat
We see and treat a wide variety of pickleball related injuries. Some of the most common sports injuries we see are:
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis occurs from overuse and stress on the tendons. The quick movements and turns used in pickleball can lead to inflammation and swelling in the tendons, causing pain and discomfort at the injury site. One of the the most common conditions we see is tendonitis or injury in the achilles, knee and wrist.
- Pickleball Elbow – Often referred to as tennis elbow, this condition effects the outer elbow joint. Pain, tenderness, and weakness in the elbow and wrist are common symptoms.
- Shoulder Pain – Shoulder pain can be caused from many different injuries, including rotator cuff conditions and tendonitis. The repetitive swinging motion used in pickleball can cause excessive wear on the shoulder. Pain, tenderness, and limited range of mobility are some of the most common symptoms.
- Sprains and Strains -Quick, repetitive motions and pivoting add stress and pressure to your ligaments. Inflammation and swelling can be a sign that you may have experienced a strain or sprain.
- Fractures – Quick movements on the court, especially on a slippery court, can lead to falls. Wrist and hip fractures, unfortunately, can occur during a fall.
- Knee Injuries – ACL, MCL and meniscus tears are some of the most common knee injuries we see from pickleball. Quick stopping and starting motions can apply pressure to the knee joints and tendons.
- Hand and Wrist – Do you experience dull and aching pain or soreness in your wrist while playing pickleball? Pain in this area during or after playing pickleball is common and is often a symptom of an injury from overuse, such as wrist arthritis, sprains, tendon irritation, or even fractures. If left untreated, the pain can persist or worsen, but the good news is that early treatment can significantly reduce discomfort and further injury.
Preventing Pickleball Injuries
There are many great physical and mental benefits to playing pickleball, including improving your cardiovascular health. While injuries aren’t completely unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to decrease your risk of an injury. This might include:
- Stretching Before Exercise – Proper stretching before you begin play can help loosen muscles before they are used. Pay particular attention to stretches that focus on opening up the calves, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, back, and wrists.
- Investing in Footwear – Investing in the right footwear can be invaluable in providing support and stability to your feet and ankles.
- Incorporating Balancing & Strengthening Exercises – Balancing exercises allow you to feel more stable and secure on your feet. This can be helpful as you continue to play more.
- Recovery – Take time to rest and heal if you have been playing a lot, especially if you are feeling tight, tender or sore in a particular area.
Contact Our Specialists
If you have sustained an injury while playing pickleball, our fellowship trained and board certified experts at Specialty Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a consultation with our doctors. With three convenient locations in Braselton, Dawsonville, and Gainesville, we proudly serve patients of all ages throughout North Georgia.